HBO tackles “The Weight of the Nation”

HBO has commissioned a major four-part documentary series and multi-platform project on obesity, The Weight of The Nation, which is set to debut in May.
January 13, 2012

HBO has commissioned a major four-part documentary series and multi-platform project on obesity, The Weight of The Nation, which is set to debut in May.

The project is made up of four documentary films, a three-part HBO Family series, 14 shorts, a social media campaign, a book published by St. Martin’s Press and a nationwide community-based outreach campaign to support the initiative.

The four-part series debuts with back-to-back films on May 14 and 15, while the three-part HBO Family series debuts on May 16.

HBO will air the films on the main HBO channel, multiplex channels, HBO On Demand, HBO GO and other outlets, and will  also stream content free-of-charge on, in order to be seen by the widest possible audience, according to the network.

The multi-part project puts the spotlight on the facts and myths of obesity, showing how it affects the health of the nation and cripples the health care system.

The four-part documentary series that centers The Weight of the Nation features case studies and interviews with experts and with individuals and families struggling with obesity.

Consequences examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese, while Choices gives viewers the lowdown on scientific results of losing weight, maintaining weight loss and prevent weight gain. The third doc, Children in Crisis documents the damage obesity is doing to the nation’s children, and the concluding Challenges examines the major forces behind the obesity epidemic.

HBO Family’s The Weight of the Nation for Kids looks at children who have taken action to prevent obesity in their own lives and communities.

The Weight of the Nation is being developed in partnership with the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and with the support of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.

Francis S. Collins, director of the NIH, said: “If we don’t succeed in turning this epidemic around, we are going to face, for the first time in our history, a situation where our children are going to live shorter lives than we do.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.